Remembering Dorothy Rossetti

Montréal Dance Scene Supporter By Elise Tigges
  • Dorothy Rossetti / Photo courtesy of Rossetti family
  • Dorothy Rossetti working at Johnny Brown in Montreal / Photo courtesy of the Rossetti family

A significant figure in Montréal’s dance community, Dorothy Rossetti, died at ninety- six.

In an obituary in the Montreal Gazette, Victor Swoboda describes Rossetti as being encouraging to many young dancers and new professional dance companies (like Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal) and having had a strong presence in a business world mostly dominated by men.

Rossetti was born in Lethbridge, AB. She was introduced to ballet while visiting San Francisco where her uncle managed a Canadian Pacific Hotel. After moving to Montréal in 1946, Rossetti began working at Johnny Brown, a theatrical supplies store, where she stayed for three years. In 1951, she established her own store, Rossetti Ballet and Theatrical Supplies, on University St. in Montréal. Capezio bought the store in 1955 and Rossetti later opened Capezio locations in Toronto and Ottawa. The original store is now located on Rue St. Denis and is now known as Rossetti de Montréal.

Rossetti was known for being glamorous, but also generous. She sponsored numerous dance students in their training and would bring shoes for dancers down to Cuba on her many trips.

Rossetti died on September 16, 2016. She is remembered fondly by those who knew her in the Montréal dance community, including the many dancers whom she worked with for over sixty years in the business of dance retail. 

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